Friday, April 29, 2011

I love weddings!

Okay so for those who aren't aware, in my "real" life I'm a photographer.  Weddings are my favorite thing to shoot.  I LOVE them.  The emotion, the dresses, the beautiful brides, the tears.  Mostly my tears, I'll admit.  I cry at every wedding.  And I cried at William and Kate's this morning too, especially this part:

credit: getty images

*sigh*  Don't they look so happy?  That's why I love weddings:  all the hopes and dreams the couple has for their future on that day.  So exciting.  So sweet. 

Congratulations Will and Kate!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Daily Style: April 28

Pants:  JCrew
T-Shirt:  Target
Vest:  American Eagle
Shoes:  Converse (low-tops)

This is probably closest to my actual style when I'm hanging out on the weekend or doing a photo shoot, only I'd wear jeans instead of white pants.  I helped out at the high school again today though, and we can only wear jeans there on Fridays.  :(  I liked the white pants though--I haven't worn them in a few years so it was nice to rediscover them.  I'm not really sure what I'm doing to look so busty.  Wow!  lol  My photographer is only 11, so I think maybe I need to give someone some lessons.  Anyway, I'm a big fan of this shirt/vest combo.  I think I've worn it once a week since I threw it together.  So many of the other bloggers I read have inspired me.  I know my fashion choices don't really compare to theirs, but I'm definitely taking chances that I wouldn't have thought of before.  Thanks guys! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beauty Favorite: Mascara

I'm super picky about mascara.  I like it best when it's a little old and thick, and I like it to go on much like a drag queen probably does.  I like my mascara!  Consequently, when I find one I like I stick with it forever (or unti it disappears like Max Factor 1000 lashes did).  Really, any of the Voluminous line is fine, but I especially like the Carbon Black.  I'm not sure it's much different than the regular black, but the name makes it SEEM darker and more, well, slutty, than the regular.  Also, I HATE waterproof mascara.  Hate the stuff.  It doesn't come off and I want all my makeup off my face before bed.  I could be completely falling-down drunk (not that that's ever happened before-heh heh) and will still take my makeup off before I pass out  go to sleep.  ANYWAY!  Sorry about the rant but I really do love this mascara.  And I'm nothing if not loyal.

Monday, April 25, 2011

So. In. Love.

Does anyone know how much money you can make selling plasma?  Or possibly a kidney?  Because I really NEED this:

They make a smaller version too, that's only $158.00, but I like the bigger one better.  Now if only I could find this on sale......

OOH!  I just found two more versions of this:
I'm actually a fan of the clutch.  Looks very vintage.  I carry too much stuff for a clutch though.  :(

Oh Fossil!  Why do you continue to suck me into this love affair when I clearly can't afford you!!!! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

DIY: Dipped Denim

Click here for Jessie's tutorial on how she made her denim jacket so cool.  I want a jacket like this!!!  Guess that means I need to hit the thrift stores to find an old-ish denim jacket, because I also like how her's is fairly faded all over.   Plus, it would be nice to have one that's a little more fitted than the one I already have.  LOVE THIS!!!!  WANT NOW!!!

Beauty Favorite: Dallas

This is my favorite blush/bronzer.  I use it year-round as a blush, and in the winter as a bronzer (I use a slightly darker bronzer in the summer when I have more color to my face).  It's the perfect shade and doesn't have any shimmer.  I don't like shimmery products very much because I tend to be shiny anyway, and shimmer just makes me look even shinier.  I also use this as eye color in the summer too.  It's really versatile.

The best part about this product is that it lasts FOREVER.  I've had the same box for years.  Seriously, YEARS.  Which, I know, is probably far longer than you should keep makeup, but I'm not throwing something away that I use everyday!  Plus, it comes with its own little brush.  I love this product!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daily Style: April 19

Dress:  Dillards (junior section!)
Jacket:  Urban Ourfitters (4-5 years ago)
Shoes:  Target (last year)
Purse: the Sak

This is my everyday purse and I LOVE it.  It holds everything under the sun, plus is one of those convertible types where the top folds over and you can use the long strap.  Perfect for shopping!  I carry an eReader everywhere I go (Nook Color!) so I need a purse that it will fit into, along with my wallet and my little caryall bag (I'll have to show that sometime--very handy!).  Plus, it's an amazing color--it's more of a metallic black than a regular flat black.  Very cool.  Was definitely a good purchase!

I think I need to work more on accessories.  I feel like that's what I'm missing with my outfits.  I tend to stick with the same necklace and earrings every single day, with maybe just adding a bracelet or two.  I never wear any rings.  I don't know why.  I'm also thinking I need shoes that aren't quite so flat.  Things to work on!!!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I know, not a food blog, but these are DELICIOUS so I thought I'd share with you guys.  Enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup shortening (you can substitute butter if you'd like)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (I use pecans 'cause it's Texas)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin pans with liners (recipe makes about 18 muffins)
  • In a large bowl, cream together the shortening/butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Stir in the egg, beating well.  Stir in the cinnamon, vanilla, and bananas.
  • In a separate bowl combine flour, sale, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • Blend the flour mixture into the banana mixture, stirring just enough to evenly combine.  Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts/pecans.
  • Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.  It's about 23 minutes in my oven.
  • You can also make a loaf bread from this recipe, just pour mixture into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake for approximately 50-75 minutes.
  • Obviously, nuts are optional.  That's why I make muffins instead of a loaf.  My son hates nuts so I make half the muffins with nuts and half without.
  • I'm pretty loosey-goosey with this recipe and haven't managed to mess it up yet.  I'd say this is suitable for novice bakers, just keep an eye out on your oven so you don't overbake.  Don't rely on my baking times as the gospel!  :)
Happy Snacking!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fab Finds: Sandals!

I love sandals in the summer.  They make me happy and I love that I can stuff large quantities of them into my miniscule closet because they don't take up much room.  I haven't bought any new ones yet this year, but here are some that I'm considering:

(Yes, these are rubber and I love them.  Too bad rubber sandals always give me blisters.  ALWAYS)

Does anyone have a solution for that anyway?  The rubber sandal blister problem?  Does one brand/type blister less than another?  Or do I just have delicate feet?  HELP!

Daily Style: April 18

Dress:  Target
Tank:  Old Navy
Shoes:  Land's End (from several years ago)

Hmmm.......I don't hate this outfit, but seeing it in pictures makes me realize I probably won't be grabbing it for a date.  Not exactly the most flattering outfit in my closet for sure.  But to be fair, the places where I look chubby are places where I'm ACTUALLY chubby.  It's me, not the dress.  I also think that I could have sized down in this dress too.  I also like it MUCH better without the tank underneath, but I wore it to school today, so it had to be appropriate.  It's a little busty without the tank, but lays much better.

Can we talk about Old Navy tanks for a minute?  I love them.  They're a staple in my wardrobe, but they also frustrate the hell out of me.  One year they are thick with shallow armholes (like this year) and other years they are thin and way too long with deep armholes and stretch out WAY too much when worn.  Can't we find a happy medium people and stick with it?  I like medium weight with deep-ish armholes and little longer, but not super-long.  Thin would be nice too but those might be the ones that stretch out like crazy.  Are you listening Old Navy people?!

Also, I love these shoes.  They aren't the best shoes with this outfit, but at school I like my feet to be warm, and I think sandals can be a little TOO bare/casual with a dress.  I got these a few years ago at a clearance sale for about $14.  I wish I had bought them in every color available because they are super comfortable and I get a ton of compliments on them.  They don't even carry anything similar now and it's sad.  :(

All in all I can do better on the outfit front.  Luckily, tomorrow is another day!! 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stamp Love!

Is this weird that I'm writing about stamps??  I've been in love with this particular set for a few years now.  To the point that if I was going to get married or have a fancy party I would completely design my entire theme around these stamps:
I love that they're still available.  I had several books a few years ago, but decided that stamps probably were not good items to hoarde, especially since the price of postage isn't exactly stable.  BUT!!!  Come May, there will also be THESE stamps available:

So pretty!!!  And definitely not electric/water/credit card bill worthy.  I'm jealous of all you lucky-ducks who get to mail out invitations.  That's almost as sad as being excited that my little town is getting a new grocery store.  But hey, sometimes it IS the little things.  Right? 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I need this!

Okay, maybe need is too strong of a word.  Want is really what I mean.  Seriously though, I think this is the perfect summer tote/purse. 

I saw this yesterday in the store and loved it, but the $39.50 price tag put me off a little.  Unfortunately, there was also not a sign showing that it was on sale.  Actually, that might have been a good thing since it would have ended up coming home with me.  This would match everything, plus is large enough for most of the stuff you haul around everyday AND be sturdy and washable (it's made of canvas, there's no reason you can't throw it in the washing machine).  Being a mom, and having a million summer-time activities, I like the idea of a summer purse I can take everywhere and not worry about it getting dirty like my good leather purses.  Sure, this one isn't fancy, but it's definitely cute and you can always switch it out with a different one for a night out!

Okay--I just checked the website closer and it's apparently only on sale on-line.  Shipping is $7.00, but you can return your items to the store if you change your mind, which is always handy.  I really haven't figured that out yet--why stores have huge online sales but don't put the same merchandise on sale in their stores.  I think the price should be the same across the board, but then again, maybe their "people" know something I don't about marketing. 

I think I'll personally wait to see if this goes on sale in the store.  $7.00 isn't really all that much for shipping, but for a $12.00 item it seems a bit steep. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beauty Favorite: Hope in a Jar

Yes, I know it's spendy for some budgets (mine included!), but I LOVE this stuff.  The 2 oz. container lasts about 2 months for me, and that's using it twice a day.  In addition to moisturizing, it also contains exfoliators, so it leaves my skin feeling really smooth.  This particular version also contains NO sunscreen.  I tend to break out when wearing sunscreen directly on my face, so I prefer to use a foundation with sunscreen instead (and wearing hats).  There is another version with the sunscreen if you prefer. 

I'm lucky that I have pretty good skin with few wrinkles, but I've noticed that the older I get, the more "orange-peely" my chin area seems to get.   So I tend to steer more towards products that smooth skin rather than treat wrinkles.  This is the moisturizer I buy when I budget allows. 

Daily Style: April 14

Dress:  American Eagle (this season, but unavailable online--check your local store)
Jacket:  Levi's (about 9 years old)
Sandals:  American Eagle (from a few years ago)
Bracelet:  Target (new, but unavailable online--check your local store)
Where:  helping out at the local high school (please ignore the lovely yellow nametag necklace)

I'm not real thrilled with how bottom-heavy this picture makes me look.  I blame the jacket though because it's pretty shapeless and boxy.  The dress is the traditional type that ties at the shoulders, so it was inappropriate to wear on its own (previously blogged here).  I LOVE this Levi jacket.  I put it away and rediscover it every few years--it's more military-inspired than the tradidional jackets with 4 snaps at the cuffs and a banded collar.  I remember seeing it in the JC Penney catalog when my son was just a toddler, and I completely coveted it but couldn't afford its $50 price tag.  Somehow, though, I came up with the money.  Lust is a powerful emotion!!  It was also a great purchase too because denim jackets will never really go away.

All in all I felt really pretty today and I would definitely wear this outfit again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Found: Cute (Cheap!) Dresses from ModCloth

I've probably already said it 300 times, but I love dresses.  Especially in the summer.  Here are a few I've found that I'd love to add to my collection:

(the only size left in this is a large, which corresponds to a 12/14 according to ModCloth's guidelines)

(The only thing I dislike about this one is that it ties is back.  That screams "maternity!" to me, but you could always remove the self-belt and use a real belt)

(this is knit fabric so it will be soooo comfortable!)

(this one is pretty bare, so you might want to wear a tank underneath, but I had to include it because I LOVE the back)

(this is a lot like the first dress design-wise, but I had to include it because I'm a huge fan of that particular yellow)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Secret Obsession: Cloth Napkins

I know it probably sounds incredibly fussy and pretentious to say that I always use cloth napkins, but it's true, I do.  I don't really remember how it got started, but I'm sure it had something to do with being too cheap to buy regular napkins (yes, I know that sounds dumb--napkins are what?  a couple of dollars? Don't try to understand my logic).  Anyway, the last few years I've just started collecting them and, since I'm pretty handy with a sewing machine, have even made a bunch of my own.  Here are some of my favorites from my stash:
from left:
  1. unsure where this one came from, but it was the first in my collection
  2. homemade
  3. vintage
World Market and Anthro are great places to find cloth napkins.  Especially on sale.  Other great places are Pier 1, Home Goods, and Etsy.

Here are some fun Etsy finds:
  1. Eat silkscreened napkins
  2. Organic polka-dot napkins
  3. Screen Printed VW napkins (these are my favorites!  LOVE!)
  4. Cake napkins
So are you still thinking I'm crazy?  Or wondering how much extra laundry this makes?  Well, I've just got a household of two, and we don't eat dinner at home every night, so it's not like we're going through 4 napkins a day, everyday.  Other than that, I keep a small, bathroom-sized trashcan in my kitchen, and then after dinner all the napkins just get thrown in there, along with dirty dishtowels and other kitchen linens (dry of course!!  Don't want anything to mildew!).  Then, when the trashcan is full, I throw them in the wash and wash everything.  Super easy.  AND!!  You're doing a good turn for the environment. 

I DO have a few stipulations on my napkins though.  First, I really don't like the damask ones.  They're too heavy and make me feel like I'm wiping my face on the curtains.  I also don't like the  really heavy ones.  They don't seem to want to absorb anything and just don't seem like they're really doing their job properly.  My favorites are the thin cotton ones.  If I make my own I only make them 15"x15" too, rather than the 20"x20" of most commercially-made napkins.  I'm not that messy of an eater and if you are, I don't really want you using my napkins anyway.  So I think the smaller size is more convenient. 

And yes, sometimes it does take me longer to pick out a napkin than it does to make a sandwich.  Don't laugh!

Beauty Favorites: Lipgloss!

I'm really more of a carmex girl (the squeeze tube, preferrably strawberry), but when I want to be "fancy" I always go for this lipgloss:

(this is not my color - I use bronze beauty, which is similar to my own lipcolor)

I first stumbled upon this lipgloss in a birthday freebie a few years ago (did you know that they give birthday gifts to their beauty insiders?  All you have to do it sign up!!  Lots of great perks!).  The set came with three small glosses, perfect to throw in a pocket, and the Bronze Beauty color was my favorite.  It's just a touch of color - not enough to make me feel self-conscious wearing it, but enough to be pretty.  All three colors were great actually, so I'm pretty sure you couldn't go wrong with any of their THIRTY different shades.  Plus, it's $10.  I'm still using my original little gift tube (although I do keep a full-size tube in my makeup kit too). 

Did you know that Sephora also has little boutique stores in many JC Penney stores? 

Trend to Try: Wide Belts

My "problem area" has lately become my stomach.  Not my gut, or even really around my waist, but the part between my breasts and belly button.  It's weird!  Consequently, I don't wear many fitted things.  And dresses/shirts that fit snug in that area aren't really very flattering.  I've discovered though, that the trend of wearing wide belts right across that area might be a good one for me to try.  Just smoosh the offending area down with a belt.  Genius! (and yes, I know that wearing spanx would probably work too, but I'm a single girl and I don't think a hot date outfit should probably include something as un-sexy as spanx, plus?  it's Texas and spanx are hot!)

Here are some really cool belts I've found:

(this one has a small stretchy area across the back)

My mission this week is to test out this theory.  I think I'll hit Dillards, grab a belt on the way in from the belt section (right by the purses - my weakness!) then head upstairs to the dresses.  Maybe take a few I already own to try them out on.  I promise I'll take pictures!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

In My Anthropologie Wishlist

I love Anthropologie.  Yes, it's not what one would call "inexpensive", but the thing about Anthro is that they have AMAZING sales.  If you're lucky enough to live near a store, it's definitely worth it to make a quick run-through as often as you can to see what new sale items they have.  If not, then make a wishlist and stalk it religiously.  Some things will sell out in your size before they go on sale, but often times, if you're diligent, you can score big. 

Here is what's currently in my wishlist:

This is in case I go on a romantic beach vacation...a girl can dream right??

I covet this dress.  Covet.  I've actually tried it on in the store and it fits beautifully.  The fabric is wonderful too.  This is definitely a date dress.  I was to tempted to buy it the day I tried it on too, but I couldn't justify spending that much.  Hopefully I can pick it up on sale.  Fingers crossed.

Sadly, this is on-sale in my size, but I really want the other dress more (and this is still a bit too steep for me).  Wonderful dress though and it has great ratings!  This would be perfect to wear to a summer wedding.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cute Outfit - Old Navy!!

Old Navy is always a hit-or-miss for me.  I either want half the store, or can't find anything.  Their tank tops are a staple though.  I think I'll be making a run by there this weekend to pick up this outfit.....

I'm really trying to get into the habit of wearing dresses AND skirts.  Dresses are just so easy - one piece, no thinking.  Skirts are more like pants - you need a top AND a bottom and they have to match.  Sometimes that's too many choices.  This outfit, though, is pretty simple.  Plus, it looks French.  Who doesn't want to look French every now and then?!

Fossil New Arrival! Rose Floral Thong

Heh heh.  Thong.  Yes, I'm a 13 year old boy.  So what??!!  But tell me you didn't have the same thought?

ANYWAY!  These sandals are so cute.  So so cute.  Perfect for the summer too and they come in several colors.  I know you're probably thinking that $49.00 is expensive for a pair of summer sandals, but trust me, you'll wear these with EVERYTHING.  And they're leather too, so they'll last for years.  I'm currently pretty bummed about a cute pair of silver sandals I bought at Target last year.  So stinkin' cute and I wear them CONSTANTLY.  Unfortunately, they won't last much longer.  $16 was a great price to pay, but I'd rather have paid more for better quality.  I didn't know I'd love them so much when I bought them though.  :(  I'm definitely an advocate of buying the best purses and shoes you can afford.  You'll be much happier in the long-run!!

These sandals are in the new catalog coming out soon, so they're not available yet.  Keep your eye out if you want them--they're sure to go fast!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Splurge! J.Crew Crystal Bracelet

Even though I'll admit to having rather hippyish ways, I do love some sparkle.  I found this AMAZING bracelet at J.Crew and wish wish wish a fairy godmother would come down and leave it under my pillow tonight while I sleep.  Wouldn't that be great??

Check out the detail:

So in love with this.  Although, knowing me, I'd put it away to "save " it for a special occasion.  How silly is that?!  If you own it, you should WEAR it!  Plus, jewelry always fits, even on fat days.  And wearing a bracelet like this, no one would be looking at your butt.  OOH!  I think I just found a way to justify buying this!